Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is animated by MAPPA and directed by Sunghoo Park. Follows Yuta Okkotsu, a nervous high school student with a curse born from childhood trauma. When they were children, Rika Orimoto was killed in a traffic accident right in front of Yuta Okkotsu. That moment has haunted him ever since, propelled by his guilt he shut himself off to the world with only Rika to keep him company and to keep him safe from school bullies. When she died, Rika became an apparition, cursing Yuta with her love and protection even as Yuta attempted to take his own life.
“Jujutsu Kaisen 0: A Chaotic Journey To Self-Acceptance”
Jujutsu Kaisen is the latest shounen series that has been gaining a lot of mainstream audiences both due to its incredible premise shown in the manga and amazing execution, especially in its animation. The latest entry to the animated series, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, is no exception to this. From the captivating cinematic shots of the scenery that sets its story, its chaotic yet fun soundtrack, and the adrenaline rush constantly putting you on the edge of your seat, the movie offers an all-in-one experience in one sitting that kept my eyes on the screen every single frame.
The given plot of the movie is simple at its core, where we follow Okkotsu Yuuta, a weak and bullied student with his cursed childhood friend demonic ghost-entity sidekick. Orimoto Rika, who protects him from bullies and utter danger. As his life continues, Yuuta felt immense guilt for the pain. He has caused others and decided to isolate himself until Mr-Handsome-Sensei Gojo Satoru enrolls him into Tokyo Jujutsu High. There, he learns how to control Rika‘s power. Most importantly, how to rediscover meaning in his dark life through his fellow first-year classmates and friends.
Although it did not offer a deep, convoluted story with multiple plot twists, given its circa 200-page long source material. The anime adaptation did an incredible job at pacing the story in its 1-hour 45-minute long run. The movie functions as a prequel to the main plot, laying out the foundations on the characters, world-building elements, and for what I assume to be, the main story for later seasons, despite it being entirely shippable. One is not obliged to know and comprehend the prequel to understand the events and motivations of the characters in S1. However, the movie provides a clearer understanding and visualization of its world and its characters. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle, that we have always wondered about.
Mappa has proved us in recent times that its animation capabilities reaches the heights of the likes of Ufotable and Kyoto Animation, and it definitely proves their outstanding ability in this film. While its animation and art may not be as exquisite or fluent as the Demon Slater’s movie’s animation. The animation here was top-notch, with the fights looking super crisp. All the fights were treated right in terms of choreography, and they were all a pleasure to watch. My only gripe I’d that some far away shots may not look as great, but that’s a minor issue.
The soundtrack for the film was great, but nothing outstanding or particularly memorable, working well as background music. The ending songs were kind of generic and not my cup of tea, but I might grow to like them with repeat listens.
The prequel takes place a year earlier than the anime events, meaning there’s not any sort of involvement regarding Yuji, Megumi and Nobara. Instead, it centers around the new character Yuta, Maki, Inumaki, Panda, and Gojou. Yes, Gojou is in the movie. All of you can fangirl now all you want.
We also see the return of Nanami and the Kyoto team members, and although they weren’t a significant part of the movie, it was still cool seeing them again. I really like how they handled Yuta in the movie.
He progressed from an amateur when it comes to fighting and an insecure person to a much more competent fighter, reaching the levels of the senpai trio or even beyond that. I would love to talk more about his progression, but I’ll rather not spoil more than I have already.
I expected more from MAPPA. Ufo took demon slayer to new levels. So did WIT with Shingeki. MAPPA adds nothing new to an already good manga. This is a one to one adaptation not worth watching if you’ve already read the manga. Great for newcomers tho.